There is no better time to approach prospects, whether consumers or businesses, than when they are most likely to need your company’s product or service. Perhaps the most clearly defined time of need for various consumer-oriented offerings occurs when a consumer moves into a new home. Similarly, business-to-business marketers will find new companies to be ideal targets for many business-related offerings.
Typically, new movers need products and services such as those offered by banks, pharmacies, interior decorators, cable and satellite TV companies, auto repair shops and home improvement centers. New businesses seek out banks as well as companies offering postage meter equipment, payroll administration, office equipment, office remodeling and security services. These are just a few examples. It doesn’t take much thought to recognize whether your company’s offerings are desired by new movers or new businesses.
Marketing such products and services to prospective buyers once was more a function of simply making the offering available and attractive to them. But technological advances in communications and information delivery have sparked a level of competition unlike anything in the past. As a result, the practice of proactively reaching out at exactly the right time to this segment of the marketplace has become a critical component of business-to-consumer and BTB marketing strategies alike.
Exactly the right time, of course, is most often immediately after the consumer move-in date or the establishment of the business. As a result, data suppliers have emerged, from traditional data marketers to directory assistance (“411”) firms, that have created or gained access to databases of new movers and new businesses. The sources and quality of this data vary. Providers of this type use sources such as directory assistance data, local telephone directories, home deed information available through public records and utility company new connects.
Where should you go for your data? When choosing a data supplier, consider carefully both the timeliness of the data and its accuracy. The best source in terms of timeliness is telephone company new connect information. New movers and new businesses waste little time activating a phone line with their local phone companies.
This makes new connect information superior to data compiled from sources such as directories and deed information gleaned from public records. Such information is generally weeks or even months old by the time it becomes available. New connect data is greatly preferred because it lets the user contact the new mover or new business as soon as possible.
New connect data has shortcomings, however. Many data providers sourcing information from directory assistance companies – or directory assistance companies themselves that market new connect data they acquired from telephone companies – do not take the time to go through a data hygiene process. This is because such data is intended for directory assistance use only rather than for direct marketing purposes.
The result can be data that is supposed to represent a new mover or new business but in reality represents a second telephone line, fax line or data line at an existing residence or established business. Marketers using this data, especially those mailing to such prospects, can waste considerable time and money targeting these residences and businesses.
The best data is derived directly from telephone companies, then cleaned to remove records that do not represent new movers or new businesses. The data provider should be able to indicate that it is authorized by the telephone companies to offer such data for DM purposes. The cost of such data, typically slightly more than that of less reliable sources, is more than offset by the savings on direct mail pieces, postage and other aspects of a mailing program that would be wasted when delivery is not to a true new mover or new business.
If your product or service is desired by new movers or new businesses, secure data for your direct marketing efforts from an authorized provider whose data is both timely and accurate.